HIPAA Confidential Client Relationships

Topics: Privacy, Information security, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Pages: 4 (1293 words) Published: December 4, 2013


Confidential Client Relationships
Greenville Technical College

Confidential Client Relationships
Client confidentiality in the field of human services is a matter of ethics, legal obligations, and a right to privacy; therefore, a human service professional must provide a helping relationship that is conducive to providing client confidentiality. In respect to the matter of confidentiality, a human service professional must understand, acknowledge, and adhere to the privacy of his or her clients; consequently, understanding when there is an ethical or legal responsibility to breaking the rules of confidentiality. The human service field is constantly in contact with sensitive and private information; it is the responsibility of the human service professional to use the confidential information they gather to empower the client and to maintain confidentiality during the process. Confidentiality is imperative in regards to maintaining a client relationship and building rapport; therefore is it vital to adhere to and understand the concept of confidentiality in regards to the human service field while adhering to the agency standards and abiding by the congress mandated HIPAA standards, which protect confidentiality for client records in print and electronic format.

Confidentially is defined by Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary as, “containing information whose unauthorized disclosure should be prejudicial” (Mish, 2012, p. 261). Clients often involve his or her family systems in the helping relationship. While information from the family system is helpful in a productive helping relationship, boundaries are to be established at the initial meeting. A signed informed consent to disclose information should be included in the client’s permanent record. If the client has the mental capacity to make his or her own decisions, he or she can also choose which family members can access confidential information. The client has the right to...

References: Banks, D. (2006). The health insurance portability and accountability act: Does it live up to the promise?. Journal Of Medical Systems, 30(1), 45-50. doi:10.1007/s10916-006-7403-2
Kuczynski, K., & Gibbs-Wahlberg, P. (2005). HIPAA the health care hippo: Despite the rhetoric, is privacy still an issue?. Social Work, 50(3), 283.
Mish, C. M. (Ed.). (2012). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary (11th ed.). Springfield, MA: John M. Morse.
Neukrug, E. (2013). Theory, practice, and trends in human services (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning.
Szabo, J. (2002). HHS issues new privacy rule. MLO: Medical Laboratory Observer, 34(10), 52.
Woodside, M., & McClam, T. (2013). Generalist case management: A method of human service delivery (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning.
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